Windows MR was the fastest growing headset type on Steam in December.
Most headset makers don’t reveal hardware sales figures, so the Steam Hardware Survey has been the most reliable indicator of PC VR’s adoption. It’s offered to a random sample of Steam’s userbase each month. If you accept, it uploads your PC specs and peripherals to Valve.
The collected data is collated and shared after each month, including a breakdown of the relative usage of each VR headset and the percentage of overall Steam players using any headset in that month.
The data for December was released on Tuesday. For the first time in years, Windows Mixed Reality is the fastest growing headset type.
Despite the platform’s name, Windows MR headsets are actually VR headsets and don’t support mixed reality. The first Windows MR headsets shipped in late 2017, but failed to achieve widespread adoption amongst PC VR gamers despite being sold for as low as $200 at times.
The only Windows MR headset still sold new is HP’s Reverb G2, released in 2020 as a successor to the original Reverb from 2019. Reverb G2 is normally priced at $600, but since October has seen multiple sales to $350 and even $300. A rumor suggests HP is exiting the VR market, suggesting this could be a fire sale, but that’s unconfirmed.
We reviewed Reverb G2 when it first launched. We loved the comfort, audio, and clarity of the headset – but found the controller tracking and ergonomics lacking. It’s an ideal headset for simulators, but for room-scale gaming it doesn’t quite match up to Quest 2 or Valve Index.
The ability of Quest 2 to function in either standalone mode or PC VR mode has made it the headset of choice for most buyers since it launched, despite being less comfortable than Reverb G2 and having lower resolution. Still, December’s Steam Hardware Survey shows there still is some demand for tethered PC-only headsets when the price is affordable.
The overall Steam users with VR Headsets figure stayed the same, 2.03%. PC VR headset usage growth continues to stagnate relative to the overall PC gaming market.